Cuban Documentary Film: Ex Generación

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In an interview with Tamara Roselló Reina for Alma Mater, Cuban director Aram Vidal Alejandro (1981) speaks about his new documentary film Ex Generación. The 32-minute documentary, which premiered in February at the 6th Show of Young Directors [VIII Muestra de Jóvenes Realizadores] in Havana, delves into the migratory wave of young Cubans to Mexico.

Focusing on the generation of young people who, like him, were born in the 80s, Vidal presents Ex Generación as an exploration of their trajectories, looking into their life experiences, responsibilities, hopes, insecurities, and achievements. This is not Vidal´s first foray into a similar topic. Vidal’s previous award-winning documentary film, De Generación, explores the lives and expectations of people in their 20s and 30s who reside Cuba.

In the interview, the director speaks about his wish to go beyond the stereotypes that mediate the theme of migration, which is still stigma-ridden and taboo, although it is a recurring theme in Cuban cinema, visual arts, and literature and it part of the island’s reality. “To emigrate,” Vidal says, “has been seen as an act of abandonment and somehow this conception is predominant in many spheres. When I had the opportunity to dialogue with Cubans residing in other parts of the world, I realized that my perceptions were also mediated by those stereotypes. I was surprised to find a deep love for the island and I continue to run across more people who speak about their country with nostalgia and affection, than with hatred and resentment.”

Although the film does not offer answers, part of its purpose is to see how migration has marked those who leave and those who remain. Vidal emphasizes that despite the complex feelings of those who have left, there still exists a great sense of Cuban identity that transcends any differences in thought and opinion. In conclusion, Vidal states that “Ex Generación is a modest documentary that shows a group of Cubans (under 35 years of age) that, above all, reveal their condition as Cubans and their strong cultural and emotional connection with Cuba.”

For full interview (in Spanish) and photo of Aram Vidal Alejandro, see http://www.almamater.cu/sitio%20nuevo/paginas/cultura/2009/junio/corto.html

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